Monday, 21 December 2009

Cornmill Stream

It's a real pleasure walking through the Lea Valley Park by the Cornmill Stream on these clear, crispy days with Jed.  He loves the snow and eats it.

The Park authorities have pollarded some of the willows growing beside the stream.

Pollarding waterside willows is traditional management in East Anglia.  The new shoots are out of reach of browsing animals and were cut at varying intervals to use for tool handles, hurdles and baskets etc.
Since there are no cows or deer around and the arisings are all thrown in the bushes and left to rot - why bother?

1 comment:

Woodland Antics said...

Great photo on the banner. Looks like you enjoyed the walk.

Why bother pollarding the willows? Ok, I'll give it a try, but I sense you will be hard to convince.

Are you sure there are no deer? We are overun with them, they even eat the strawberries and flowers in the front garden and coppice stools are also vulnerable to rabbits. If the willows have always been pollards then it's probably best to keep pollarding if they are left to become overgrown they will likely become windblown, and the pollards will live much longer than unpollarded trees. Pollarding is by far the easiest management regime for hedgerow and riverside trees. But as you say, damn shame that the rods are just thrown away, no excuse for it really. Shabitat piles I guess.